Watching Hermione obliviate her poor Muggle parents into forgetting she ever existed during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 brought tears to my eyes, and not just because of the pain on poor Emma Watson's face. Deep down inside part of me wept because no matter how hard I try, I'll never be able to magically erase my own excruciating memories -- those vivid, lingering visions of the worst crimes committed against cinema in the past year alone.
So here's the next best idea; I'll share these movie memories with you and together we can banish these awful, embarrassing viewing experiences to the darkest reaches of our collective minds, never to be remembered again.
The Human Centipede
Tom Six's twisted horror flick had quite the reputation, so if you willingly went to see it, you already kind of knew what you were in for. But was there really any way to mentally prepare for the sick shenanigans that ensued once the evil Dr. Heiter stitched his three doomed patients together, end to end (to end to end)? By the time Heiter stood over his creation shouting "Feed her!" to the head of the centipede, we knew we should turn away, but we just couldn't -- and now we can't seem to shake the image of that Japanese tourist, the middle girl, and her BFF sharing the same meal.
The Killer Inside Me
Director Michael Winterbottom stirred controversy with his violent adaptation of Jim Thompson's pulp novel, in which small town cop Lou Ford (Casey Affleck) moonlights as a serial killer – and, in the film's infamously gruesome scene, mercilessly beats his own lover (Jessica Alba) until half her face seems to fall off. We can understand why depicting the extremity of the assault is a necessary evil in the telling of this sociopath's tale (Ford's subsequent attack on Kate Hudson is just as gut-wrenching to watch), but do we ever want to see those scenes play out again? Not so much.
Body horror, incestuous creature rape, and face-bashing have nothing on the profound sadness that was watching Brendan Fraser in a pink ladies' track suit with his beer belly exposed being kicked in the balls by forest animals, emasculated, and peed on by raccoons. Furry Vengeance was the most embarrassing movie event of the year – as much for those of us who sat through it as for poor Fraser himself. And we thought it couldn't get worse than Monkeybone.
The Back-Up Plan
The movie that ruined the most for me this year was this seemingly innocuous romantic comedy in which J. Lo is artificially inseminated and then meets her dream man. The Back-Up Plan managed to be on par with the worst chick flicks of the year where irritating heroines were concerned (see: When in Rome, Eat Pray Love, Sex and the City 2, You Again, The Bounty Hunter), but it beat the competition with a single scene. A sex scene, to be specific -- the one that takes place in hunky Alex O'Laughlin's artisanal cheese barn. If there's one thing I don't want going on in the place where my artisanal cheese is being aged, it's sweaty pregnant lady sex. You'll never buy handcrafted brie from a hunky cheesemaker at the Farmer's Market again, and for that, The Back-Up Plan deserves to be expelled to the darkest pits of movie hell for the rest of time.
Jen Yamato writes weekly for Film.com. Tell her which movie memories you'd like to obliviate at Twitter.com/jenyamato.